When you step into Village Smile Care in Mount Horeb, WI, you’ll know you’ve found the perfect place for your family’s care.
Our team loves helping kids grow into healthy adults. Dr. Angie knows that early experiences influence the value children place on their oral health as adults. One negative experience can affect a child’s outlook on dentistry for the rest of their life. You can be sure your child will have a great experience at Village Smile Care.
The services offered at Village Smile Care ensure that patients of all ages feel welcome. From the earliest check-ups to orthodontic evaluations, our dentist listens to your concerns and guide you through every stage.
Dr. Angie believes that a trip to the dentist should be fun, lighthearted, and not something to fear. The way your child is exposed to dentistry lays the groundwork for how they view dental care and dental visits for the rest of their lives.
Dr. Angie and her team love caring for their patients, and work hard to make sure each child is spoken to gently, treated with respect, and cared for as if they were our own child. We use simple words to explain procedures to our patients and make sure each parent or guardian is aware of the process as well.
Infant Oral Exams
Following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Angie suggests infants should come in for their first oral exam between the ages of six months to 1 year old.
Dr. Angie will review proper diet, age-appropriate hygiene, and go over pacifier use to make sure your child’s oral health starts strong and stays strong.
Digital x-rays help diagnose cavities while they are tiny, often allowing for less invasive treatment. If they are caught early enough, decay may be stopped with some minor changes to your child’s homecare routine.
Using digital x-rays, Dr. Angie can look for teeth that haven’t erupted yet, make sure your child’s jaws and teeth are developing well, and monitor whether orthodontic treatment will be needed in the future.
Today’s digital x-rays expose your child to less radiation than ever before. Lead aprons and taking x-rays only when necessary further reduce your child’s exposure.
Sealants For Children
Sealants help prevent decay by protecting the surface of the teeth, especially the back teeth where brushing can be more difficult for children. They are made of a clear, liquid resin that hardens when a special light is shined on it. This creates a smooth, hard surface that prevents food from settling in the grooves of your child’s back teeth.
Research has shown that sealants can reduce a child’s risk of decay in treated teeth by up to 80%. The CDC has even weighed in, stating that children without dental sealants may be 3 times more likely to develop decay in the same teeth than children with sealants.
How Are Sealants Placed?
First, the tooth or teeth are washed, dried, and isolated with either cotton rolls or a rubber dam. Then the teeth are etched with a special gel that roughens the teeth, so the sealant material has a rough surface to adhere to. Once that is rinsed off, the sealant material is flowed into the grooves of the teeth and light cured. When all the teeth have been treated, the dentist checks for rough edges and makes sure floss can pass between the teeth.
Generally speaking, there are no side effects with dental sealants unless your child is allergic to one of the ingredients in the resin material, which is extremely rare.
Caring For Your Child’s Sealants
Sealants are sturdy and should last up to 10 years, but may need replacing sooner, depending on your child’s lifestyle. Avoiding chewing on ice and hard candy can prolong their life and prevent chipping which might allow decay to sneak in and rot the tooth from the inside. The dentist will monitor your child’s sealants at each visit to make sure they are still intact.
While sealants don’t eliminate the need for proper homecare such as flossing and brushing twice daily, they can offer some protection and can even stop minor decay from developing further.
Special Care for Dental Anxiety
Sometimes a child comes to us that has had a negative dental experience or they are too young to understand the dental treatment needed. We offer different sedation options to help them relax and make their dental appointment more comfortable for everyone, patient and parent alike.
For most patients, laughing gas is very safe and plenty to help your child relax. It is mixed with oxygen and delivered with a small mask worn over your child’s nose. Your child is awake, responsive, and breathes without assistance. When treatment is finished, the mask is removed, and within a few breaths of air, the laughing gas has left your child’s system.
If your child is older or suffers from severe anxiety, oral sedation (a pill or liquid medicine), IV sedation, or general anesthesia in a hospital setting under the care of a board-certified anesthesiologist may be recommended. Dr. Angie will be able to discuss these options with you to help your child get the care they need.
Studies have shown that almost 33% of children aged 2 to 5 have had a cavity. Even though baby teeth are only around for a few short years, it’s still important to keep them healthy because they hold the space for your child’s adult teeth. They also help develop proper speech patterns and help your child chew.
The procedure is the same for a child as it is for an adult. Depending on the size of the decayed area, a local anesthetic may be given, and if your child has any anxiety over the procedure, we have some sedation options available to make the procedure more comfortable.
After the decay is removed, a special gel is used to clean and etch the surface. Once the filling material is in place, it is light cured, polished, and adjusted to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your child’s bite. Tooth-colored filling material is much like a natural tooth in texture and is matched to your child’s tooth color.
After treatment, it’s important to maintain a regular homecare routine of brushing and flossing twice daily, so your child’s restorations stay healthy and prevent any more decay.
Children’s Cleanings & Exams
Preventative care is one of the simplest and most important ways to make sure your child’s teeth grow in strong and healthy. Giving them the proper tools and teaching them the right way to brush when they are young lays the groundwork that will create healthy habits they will carry with them into adulthood.
Most children have two cleanings a year, but children with a higher risk of caries may need more frequent visits.
During a checkup, will your child’s hygienist will clean their teeth and, if necessary, take x-rays and give your child a fluoride treatment. The dentist will perform an exam and review if any treatment is needed.
Topical fluoride treatments help keep your child’s teeth cavity-free between visits by strengthening the enamel. Depending on your child’s age, the fluoride may be brushed onto your child’s teeth or put into a foam tray and allowed to sit on their teeth. For younger children, a fluoride varnish is brushed onto the teeth. Fluoride varnish hardens when it comes in contact with saliva, forming a hard film that is brushed off later that evening.
Older children usually have a tray loaded with foam fluoride placed in their mouths for a specific amount of time along with a suction straw to remove any foam overflow and saliva. When the time is up, your child is told not to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to work.
Dr. Angie and her hygiene team are happy to answer all your questions about fluoride treatments and treatment options.
If your child needs restorative treatment in the form of a filling or crown, Dr. Angie and her team will create a custom treatment plan for your child and review all options with you before treatment begins. We believe a conservative approach to children’s dentistry is usually the best course of action.
Fillings are placed in the tooth following decay removal to preserve natural tooth structure. Nowadays most fillings are made of a composite resin that is matched to your child’s natural tooth color. In some rare instances amalgam (silver) fillings may be used.
Crowns can be made of many different materials depending on where in your child’s mouth they are to be used. Stainless steel, resin, and zirconia are all durable choices and require very similar preparations.
Why Does My Child Need A Crown?
Sometimes an area of decay is too large for a filling or the decay has compromised the whole side of a tooth, so there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling. If your child has an accident that results in a heavily damaged tooth or if your child is at high risk for developing cavities, the doctor may decide it’s best to preserve the entire remaining structure.
If you are concerned that your child needs a crown, Dr. Angie and her team are happy to answer all your questions.
Root Canals on Baby Teeth
If a baby tooth has decay that has entered the nerve, or pulp, of the tooth, or if the tooth has suffered trauma, it may cause hot and cold sensitivity or constant pain. A root canal might be recommended to preserve the tooth until it is ready to come out on its own and be replaced by its permanent counterpart.
Saving a baby tooth instead of extracting it can help prevent issues with self-confidence, chewing, speech development, and bite alignment.
If your child has a broken tooth with exposed pulp, complains of hot/cold sensitivity or pain in a tooth, suffers trauma to the mouth, or if you notice a sudden change in your child’s eating habits, call Village Smile Care as soon as possible.
Just like a root canal on an adult tooth, the doctor will remove the diseased pulp tissue from the tooth, disinfect the area, and fill the root chamber with gutta-percha, a rubber-like natural material.
After the root canal, a small crown or other restoration will placed on the tooth to help support the remaining tooth structure until it is ready to fall out on its own.
There may be some slight post-procedure sensitivity, but since the nerve is removed, there shouldn’t be any pain. Make sure to maintain a regular home care schedule to prevent the need of a root canal on any other baby teeth.
It’s estimated that over 20 million children take part in one after-school sport or another. With that amount of children engaging in sports and other activities like skiing, gymnastics, and martial arts, there is a higher chance of injury. Did you know that up to 20% of these injuries are due to fractured or otherwise damaged teeth?
Dr. Angie can create a sports mouthguard for your child. After an impression of your child’s teeth is taken, she will fabricate a new mouthguard molded to custom-fit to their unique smile.
When worn regularly, your child can protect their teeth, jaws, and lips from injury. Your child only gets one set of adult teeth
Dr. Angie can help you keep them safe.
An extraction can make both children and parents anxious, but they are a common procedure in most dental offices. Sometimes a child’s tooth has too much decay to restore, or they need a tooth or teeth removed to make room for orthodontic treatment.
Regardless of the reason, Dr. Angie and her team will make sure you and your child are comfortable with the treatment plan.
After some local anesthetic, the doctor will remove your child’s tooth. If it is impacted or if it is a complicated removal, the doctor will discuss with you if sedation options are recommended.
Once the tooth is removed, our dentist will give you post-op instructions, and place a small piece of gauze over the extraction site to stop any bleeding and to help a clot form. Check and replace the gauze every 20 minutes until bleeding stops.
Here are some recommended tips for the first 24 hours after your child’s extraction:
- Use over-the-counter or prescribed pain reliever if recommended by the dentist.
- Give your child soft foods for the first 24 hours after their extraction.
- DO NOT allow your child to drink from a straw, rinse their mouths out, spit, or brush that area for at least 24 hours after tooth removal. This could dislodge the blood clot and cause a very painful issue called dry socket.
- Place an ice pack wrapped in a towel over the area for about 20 minutes to relieve swelling and discomfort.
- Immediately call our office if your child experiences fever, immense pain, or chills.
Village Smile Care always considers your child’s comfort regardless of the type of treatment they are receiving. The dentist will discuss their unique situation with you to determine the best way to help them receive the treatment they need.
Dental health during the teen years offers another set of challenges. For most parents, this doesn’t come as a big surprise. A dizzying number of changes strike during these formative years, and parents often experience a few frustrations along the way.
Teens listen more than we realize, and pestering parents can make a tremendous difference in the dental future of your young adult. You might feel like you are nagging, but believe it or not, the constant reminders to brush, floss, and eat well will sink in. Don’t underestimate any encouragement given to help your teen avoid the long-term effects of cavities and gum inflammation.
Preventive visits every six months provide us with an opportunity to coach your teen and reinforce the efforts you’re making with them. Sometimes the rapport we establish in a professional, yet friendly, setting proves especially effective.
Tips For Home Efforts That Protect Your Teen’s Dental Health:
- Limit sodas and energy drinks.Sugary, carbonated drinks are the number one cause of tooth decay in adolescents. Most 20-ounce bottles of soda are just 18 teaspoons of sugar mixed with an extremely acidic liquid. The combination can be devastating for teeth as well as your teen’s overall health.
- Encourage brushing before bedtime.The hours spent sleeping can be especially harmful as the mouth dries out and bacteria flourishes.
- Explain the dangers of sharing toothbrushes.Bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities can easily transfer from one person to another.
- Slip dental floss or a toothpick in with their lunch or backpack.
It’s easy to ignore, but a little bit of tooth decay or gum disease usually leads to a little bit more. However, one thing is certain. If left untreated, it almost always results in pain, emergency treatment, and tooth loss. So why does this happen?
It’s An Infection
Millions of bacteria swim around in our mouths. Many of them are harmless, and some are beneficial. But a few love nothing more than to eat away at the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Like all living creatures, they need an energy source. Sugars are their snack of choice, and they use simple carbohydrates from our diet to manufacture energy.
Like all living creatures, they also produce waste. These acidic wastes deposited on the teeth erode the hard surfaces, weaken the enamel, and form holes known as cavities.
Some bacteria produce a toxic waste that causes bleeding gums and destroys the bone around the teeth. This is called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the leading reason people lose their teeth and end up with dentures.
Most infections can be cured with antibiotics, but mouth bacteria require a different approach. Regular checkups and cleanings help us find new cavities and remove plaque and tartar that harbor millions of harmful bacteria. High-risk patients benefit from a customized approach with our team. We have many methods to strengthen weakened enamel that has not yet developed into decay.
The complex cycle of inflammation and infection extends beyond the gums and mouth. In fact, research continues to uncover the many ways that our oral health affects the overall health of our bodies including heart health. Our oral health can influence medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. For example, mouth bacteria enter the bloodstream through inflamed and bleeding gums. Like a river, blood flow carries the bacteria to the small vessels of the heart and brain. Here they can damage the intricate vessel lining leading to blockage of the vessel. Heart attack or stroke can result because of bleeding gums.
A Few Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Mouth:
- Brush for at least two minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day: It sounds like a long time, but it makes a difference. Consider buying an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer or set the timer on your phone. If you don’t like to floss, consider toothpicks, proxabrushes, or a Waterpik.
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly and replace it every three months: Bacteria linger on your toothbrush, finding their way back into the mouth the next time you brush.
- Drink sugary liquids through a straw: A straw helps keep sugar from bathing the teeth directly before swallowing.
- Drink water after eating a meal: Water helps clean larger deposits of food from your teeth. Plus, we all could use a little more hydration!
- Get cavities treated immediately: Cavities rarely hurt until they reach a critical stage. And don’t forget: a little bit of tooth decay usually becomes a little bit more.
- See your hygienist every six months: The risk of critical dental problems diminishes significantly if you’re visiting us twice a year. Patients that fit preventive dentistry into their schedule typically enjoy fewer dental visits and expenses over time than those who wait for emergencies to develop.
A variety of tooth and jaw issues can be resolved through orthodontics. The dentist may point out that your child’s baby teeth appear crowded or the relationship between the upper and lower teeth isn’t ideal. While treatment doesn’t usually start this young, it may help you prepare for the possibility of future corrective care. As permanent teeth start to appear, usually around age 6, Dr. Angie will monitor the situation and help you decide if early orthodontic treatment is right for your child.
Although many orthodontic wearers are teenagers, braces play a role in some children’s earlier years. Since permanent teeth are typically larger than baby teeth, a device called a palatal expander may be used to create more room. This allows adult teeth to move into place correctly, helping avoid more extensive treatment later on.
A narrow jaw or a large overbite may create a similar dilemma. Gently guiding your child’s jaw growth while they are still growing can make a tremendous difference down the road. Once growth stops during the teen years, sometimes the only corrective measure involves surgery which is always a scenario to avoid when possible.
The Usual Track
Many youngsters benefit from orthodontics after their baby teeth have fallen out and the permanent teeth have grown in. The length of treatment time can vary, but often falls around two years.
Orthodontic treatment can solve almost every bite issue, but success relies on good patient compliance. Wearing elastic bands consistently, keeping follow-up appointments, and practicing outstanding home care can all lead to a beautiful smile. This commitment involves frequent preventive visits with our hygienist as well. This helps avoid permanent staining from weakened enamel and cavities around brackets. Village Smile Care specializes in helping our orthodontic patients enjoy a successful outcome: a gorgeous, healthy smile.
Our goal is for our patients to require the least amount of dental treatment possible. Children who enter adulthood with the fewest restored teeth generally have the lowest risk of future problems.
Sealants can dramatically reduce the number of cavities a child might develop throughout their childhood. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves run into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon. In reality, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle but that is still wide enough for bacteria to hide. It’s easy to see how cavities can form in such a perfect hideout.
If the grooves in permanent molars are sealed at a young age, the risk of decay decreases dramatically. Fortunately, this procedure can be done quickly and without any discomfort or anesthetic. The sealant material creates a smooth surface, filling in the grooves and making the biting surface more manageable for little hands to keep clean. A resin material is flowed over the grooves and is sealed quickly with a blue curing light. Within a few minutes, your child’s teeth are protected against cavities.
Sealants only last a few years and may need to be repaired or replaced periodically. But research confirms a 90% reduction in tooth decay along the chewing surface in sealed molars. This cost-effective, simple step may help your child enter adulthood with fewer fillings.